Category Archives: Wrestling

WSC, team honors dished at Winter Sports Awards

Last week saw Kaneland High School dole out its winter athletic awards with four sports being recognized on various levels.

In varsity girls basketball, Mallory Huml was given defensive player of the year, and Mallory Carlson was named most improved player. Katie Hatch and Sarah Rose were named co-MVP’s. Cece Anderson won the Kaneland Knight Award, and Rose was also recognized as a member of the all-Western Sun Conference team. Rose, Anderson, Hatch, Huml, Brianna Hurst, Chassidy Mangers and Alyssa Galvan were also recognized as captains.

In sophomore basketball, Jessica Stouffer and Liz Hylland took the Kaneland Knight awards, while Sydney Bilotta won defensive player. Andrea Dimmig-Potts and Katie Taylor were named co-offensive player of the year. Keara Palpant was given MVP honors.

For the freshman level, Anna Olson took the hustle award, and Katie Tolan won most improved. Christina Janes was named Queen of the Boards, while McKinzie Mangers was given the Dedication award. Kylie Siebert won the Lady Knight award.

For boys basketball, Dave Dudzinski was honored for making the All-WSC team, and was also named as the team’s offensive player of the year.

The Most Improved Player award went to the tandem of Christian Dillon and Sean Paulick. Dudzinski took the team MVP honors, and Curtis Lubic earned the defensive player of the year nod.

Brody Root, Dillon, Mike Prtichard, Lubic, Chris Ott and Joe Spitzzeri were also recognized as captains.

On the freshman level, Eric Eichelberger and Brandon Stahl earned most improved honors, while Jake Razo took home outstanding defensive player, and Jordan Jones was outatanding offensive player.

For the Lady Knights bowling team, Jessica Stebbins was given kudos for high game, high series, and high average.

Danielle Rose earned the most improved award. Emily Curran took home the coaches award and Stebbins, Curran, Kathleen Moravcik and Cassie Wilson were recognized as captains.

For wrestling, Jay Levita was named most valuable wrestler, as well as getting the Bob Domena Memorial Award for hardest worker, and was also given accolades for making the All-WSC team and State.

Jimmy Boyle took the most improved award, while Devon Scholl won the Dave Osman Award for most dedicated. Boyle was given the Russel Anderson Memorial Award, and Matt Weaver took the Heart and Soul Award.

Levita, Weaver and Scholl were also recognized as captains.

Levita’s quest to State ends in opening match

by Mike Slodki
Senior Jay Levita’s impressive 2008-2009 wrestling campaign came to an end on Friday in Champaign after his first match, but it made the season no less impressive.

Levita’s lone match was a 9-3 loss to Springfield’s Dane Atwood in the 145-pound grouping.

Washington freshman Dylan Reel was crowned state champ after beating Fenton’s Josh Castellano in the final.

In only three years, still somewhat raw in wrestling terms, Levita’s time, effort and talent paid off, according to head coach Monty Jahns.

“When you have an athlete, such as Jay, who is willing to put forth the effort, then goals can be attained. I would take a full team of inexperience if they would all had the same work ethic as Jay did this year,” Jahns said.

Levita ended with 31 wins.

Knights send one of their own to State

Levita finishes second at sectional in 145 lbs. category
by Mike Slodki
While Champaign and its Assembly Hall are ususally tinged in orange-and blue, it will also have a black-and-white presence.

It comes in the form of Kaneland senior Jay Levita, who finished second in the 145-pound category during Saturday’s IHSA Class 2A Sectional at LaSalle-Peru High School.

Levita now adds his name to a sizable list of Kaneland State qualifiers.

Last year, Sean Szatkowski (112) and Jeff Stralka went to State. In 2006-2007, Szatkowski (103) was joined by 125-pounder Quinn Jahns and 189-pound entry Jake Goedken.

Goedken went for the first time as a junior in the 2005-2006 school year, while brother Marcus represented the Knights in 2004-2005.

Levita, who entered the gathering with a 29-10 record, faced Ottawa’s Anthony Brown in the second round after a bye. Levita solved Brown with an 11-1 major decision victory. Levita then defeated Rock Island’s Teighlor Echolds by a 12-5 margin before losing to Washington’s Dylan Reel in the final by a 2:45 pinfall.

Levita will face Springfield High School’s Dane Atwood (34-5) in the first round, with the winner facing Bremen’s Terrell Webster in the second. Webster comes in with a 30-2 record to Champaign.

Normal University High School freshman Alex Bee is also going to State, having finished third.
For Levita, the reasons are simple for his traveling down to wrestling’s elite group.

“It comes down to conditioning. Most of my matches are won that way. It’s my basic moves and that’s what I have to stick with.”

Wins over Sandwich’s Jake Hankes and Sycamore’s Sean Akins in the regional provided another needed boost for the senior.

“The two big wins at regionals really motivated me and kind of showed me that I could do it,” Levita said.
Heavyweight representative Jimmy Boyle was eliminated in the second round after receiving a bye by Bloomington’s Kyle McAvoy.

In the 215-pound group, Knight A.J. Wagner closed his career out with 4:38 pinfall loss to Mahomet-Seymour’s Charles Miller.

J.T. Webb, at 152 pounds, was defeated by Galesburg’s Ben LaFollette with a 20-5 technical fall.

Photo: Jay Levita makes life difficult for competition at the Sandwich Regional on Feb. 7. The senior faces Springfield’s Dane Atwood in Champaign this weekend. Photo by Ben Draper

Wrestlers get four through to sectional

by Mike Slodki
In a stacked regional, Kaneland wrestling stacked some victories and sectional berths of its own.

On Saturday, Kaneland finished sixth overall in the IHSA Class 2A Regional, and sends four grapplers to this Saturday’s sectional at LaSalle-Peru High School, site of last year’s regional.

With 92 points, Kaneland’s total was way ahead of Aurora Central Catholic’s 15.

Yorkville staged a comeback to nab a regional championship with 215.5 points. Sycamore finished second at 200 points, followed by host Sandwich (148), Rochelle (99) and Oswego (92.5).

Knights advancing to this weekend’s competition are regional champs Jay Levita, at 145 pounds, and Jimmy Boyle in the 285-pound category.

Also advancing are J.T. Webb, who finished in third place at 152 pounds, and A.J. Wagner, at third place for the 215-pound category.

Designated as alternates for the tournament thanks to fourth-place finishes were Devon Scholl at 125 pounds and Nick Michels at 189 pounds.

Levita took down Sycamore’s Sean Akins in the championship final by a 10-6 decision, and beat Sandwich’s Jake Hankes, 10-9 in the semifinal.

Boyle took care of Sycamore’s Luke Sgarlata in the heavyweight final 1-0. Todd Groth of Oswego took third after beating Sandwich’s Derek Hall with a pinfall in 2:50.

Webb defeated Sandwich’s Sam Hill in 5:20 via technical fall and Wagner beat Rochelle’s Nate Rodefelt with a 1:56 pinfall.

“You can’t make a mistake here. You just have to keep moving and progressing throughout the day,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said about the postseason environment.

The LaSalle-Peru Sectional also features regional athletes from Geneseo, Peoria Woodruff and Pontiac.

Grapplers prep for Sandwich

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland wrestling needed one last tune-up before this Saturday’s IHSA Class 2A regional at Sandwich High School.

Time will tell how key the triangular with Marengo and Hampshire was in preparation for the postseason gathering.

With Kaneland’s 45-29 loss to the Marengo Indians and the 63-18 win over first-year program Hampshire, the final dual mark for the Knights is 11-16 (2-5 Western Sun Conference).

Noteworthy pins against the Indians were accomplished by 103-pound asset Ryan Goodenough, 119-pounder Josh Kuefler and 125-pounder Devon Scholl.

“All I did, basically, was try to go out there with intensity, and we needed pins,” Scholl said.

Scholl’s bracket on Saturday morning in Sandwich looks like a gauntlet, with competitors like Yorkville’s Jed Lightfoot and Rochelle’s Geoff Huntley.

“125 is pretty stacked, it’s pretty tough,” Scholl said. “Going through the season, you tough it out and dig deep and that’s what you have to do there.”

Besides KHS, Yorkville, Rochelle and the host Indians, the regional also houses Aurora Central Catholic, Oswego and Sycamore.

Individual standouts will meet up at the LaSalle-Peru Sectional on Saturday, Feb. 14, along with personnel from the Peoria Woodruff, Pontiac and Geneseo regionals.

Photo: Kaneland’s Kyle Davidson (140) tries to bring his Glenbard South opponent down during the WSC invite at Sycamore High School on Saturday, January 24. Photo by John DiDonna

Wrestling nabs two seconds against WSC best at Sycamore

Sycamore High School was the site of the annual Western Sun Conference tournament, and Kaneland wrestling had some success.

While finishing in eighth place, the Knights saw two of their wrestling brethren get to championship matches.

Batavia won the meet with 177.5 points, followed by Sycamore’s 174.5. Yorkville finished in third with 169.5.

DeKalb was fourth with 151.5 points, followed by Rochelle at 86. Geneva (84), Glenbard South (80) and Kaneland (65) rounded out the last three.

Jay Levita, at 145 pounds, earned a 3:32 pin over DeKalb’s Robbie Miller and a 1:37 fall over Yorkville’s Steven Pozeg. Sycamore’s Sean Akins pinned Levita in the final in three minutes.

Levita’s teammate Jimmy Boyle won over Colton Mejorado of Yorkville in the 285-pound group (1:42 fall), and took a 2-0 OT decision over Sycamore’s Luke Sgarlata before getting pinned in the final by Raider Austin Teistma.

Devon Scholl finished third at 125 pounds after outlasting Glenbard South’s Pat Williams 6-0.
130-pound entry Matt Weaver finished fourth on a day that included a 2-1 win over Geneva’s Collin Callahan.

The grapplers hope to make an impression on Hampshire, Marengo and Sycamore while hosting a quad on Friday, Jan. 30, at 5:30 p.m.

KHS earns 6th at Flott Invite; Levita takes 2nd at 145

Ten Knights battle through competition to place in weight classes

Kaneland wrestling (10-15, 2-4 WSC) had a chance to put competition on notice, and a good number of the Knights did just that.

At the Margaret Flott Memorial Wrestling Invite on Saturday at Kaneland High School, Addison Trail won the meeting with 178.5 points, while Kaneland finished with 120 points.

Prairie Central of Fairbury finished second with 136.5 points and Burlington Central took third with 132 points, out of 13 schools.

Several Kaneland grapplers did their school and faithful proud during the day.

Ryan Goodenough, at 103 pounds, finished fourth overall. Teammate Tyler Esposito had a fourth-place finish at 112 pounds. Josh Kuefler finished sixth at 119 pounds. 125-pounder Devon Scholl also took sixth in his group. At 135 pounds, Dennis Brettman finished in sixth place. Kyle Davidson took fourth in the 140-pound group. Jay Levita was runner-up at 145 pounds. At 152 pounds, Cody McGinnis finished fifth. J.T. Webb finished sixth at 160 pounds. Heavyweight Jimmy Boyle took third in his grouping.

Goodenough got a pin over Burlington Central’s Jon Wight in 1:40 in his grouping before losing to Nathan Andresen of Elgin in 4:51.

Esposito beat Prairie Central’s Joey Reis 15-5 in his grouping but lost to Burlington’s Omar Awad 10-4 in the third place match.

Kuefler beat Josh Reece of St. Edward in the consolation bracket on his way to sixth.

Scholl beat Marengo’s Torben Hoffmeyer 14-0 in the consolation bracket and Ottawa’s Zack Harvey in 1:28 with a pinfall before losing to Oswego’s Ross Reeder in the fifth place match.

Brettman earned a 13-2 decision over Oswego’s Angel Ortiz and a 3-0 decision over Burlington’s Al Willett and a 1:43 pinfall over Elgin’s Ryan Anderson.

Davidson beat Sebastian Altamirano of Elgin in 1:08 and St. Joseph’s Zach Moreno in :54.

The top finisher on the day for Kaneland was Levita as he took care of Larkin’s Perry Allerton with a 2:24 pinfall. He then stuck Prairie Central’s Alex Reis with a 3:30 pinfall before losing 11-2 to Joey Moorhouse of Marengo.

McGinnis earned a 4:29 win over Oswego’s Dan Roman and won the fifth-place match with a 12-8 win over Ottawa’s Derek Martin.

Webb earned a technical fall over Marengo’s Jon Goerke in 3:23 and pinned Ottawa’s Tony Downey in 5:12 before falling to Jon DiBuono of Oswego in 3:27.

Boyle earned a :54 pin against Marian Central Carholic’s Josh LaLuz, and later nabbed a 1-0 win for third place over Ed Nevarez.

Kaneland’s 39-34 win over Geneva on Thursday also featured Senior Night, and wins by Matt Weaver, Levita, A.J. Wagner, and Boyle.

Kaneland now gears up for a meet featuring the other WSC schools at the WSC Tournament in Sycamore on Saturday, Jan. 24 at 9 a.m.

Photo: Kaneland’s Ryan Goodenough (103) battles Prairie Central during his fourth-place day at the Flott Invitational on Saturday in Maple Park. Photo by Ben Draper

Wrestlers look to get up off mat

by Mike Slodki

Kaneland is looking at their share of individual accomplishment, but also looks to get past some tough losses as the calendar turns to 2009.

Kaneland lost on Friday in dual action to Western Sun Conference rival Dekalb, 48-18.
The Knights also competed at the annual Sycamore tournament on Saturday, finishing 13th out of 16 teams.

However, the Knights rebounded on Tuesday night after a 41-27 loss to Batavia with a 33-30 win over Morris.

Kaneland’s head-to-head mark is 9-16.

At the Sycamore tournament, the Knight grapplers garnered 49.5 points, beating out McHenry by five points. Lockport (243.5), Hononegah (205.5) and Grant (177.5) finished in the top three.

Kaneland had a few individual places to be proud of at the home of the Spartans.

At 119 pounds, Josh Kuefler finished in seventh place. After losing a 4-2 decision to Crystal Lake South’s Tom Gerszewski, he came back after a bye and defeated Rock Island’s Darius Henderson 10-4. After losing the consolation semi, Kuefler pinned Cary-Grove’s Corey Meyer in 5:25 to nab seventh.

125-pounder Devon Scholl finished in fourth thanks to a 3-0 decision over Crystal Lake South’s D.J. Nee, and a 15-6 major decision over Harlem’s Jake Papke. Scholl dropped a 4-3 heartbreaker to Sycamore’s Jeff Flanigan in the third place match.

Jay Levita, at 145 pounds, finished fourth, with a 23-14 major decision over York’s Matt Williams and an 18-2 techinical fall over Downers Grove South’s Jeff Idle.

Jimmy Boyle, at 145 pounds, also took fourth, with wins over Rock Island’s Travis Blecher in 2:34 and a 3-1 win over Sycamore’s Luke Sgarlata.

Scholl, Cody McGinnis, AJ Wagner and Boyle came away with wins over the Bulldogs.
Levita had a pinfall after tussling on the ground with his opponent; the referee imploring some grappling action.

“I usually try to be the first guy to do something on the mat, and I just tried a move and it worked and I got the pin,” Levita said.

Levita feels this year’s corps of varsity vets can lead by example.

“ We can definitely lead. The guys on varsity last year did that for us, and we can show how to be aggressive,” Levita said.

The JV crew lost 34-21 to Batavia on Thursday.

Kaneland gears up for more challenges on Thursday, Jan. 15 against visiting Batavia and hosts the the Margaret Flott Memorial Wrestling Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 17.

Wrestlers see encouraging signs at DeKalb, Woodstock

While wrestling is getting its licks in on opposing teams, the Knights would probably like to stop the opposition from getting its fair share.

The grapplers in black-and-white finished off the Don Flavin Invite on Dec. 30 with a fifth-place finish in the DeKalb-hosted gathering. Rockton Hononegah bested DeKalb 42-18 in the championship.

The first meet of 2009 featured the Knights traveling to Woodstock High School to face off against Jacobs and Mundelein.

After a split on Saturday, the Knights sit with a 8-12 record in dual action.

To finish the Don Flavin Invite after suffering three losses the first day, KHS lost to Shepard 41-32, but rallied to beat Mascoutah 57-16. Glenbard West fell victim in the fifth-place consolation battle 30-29.

The Knights fell hard to Mundelein by a 59-6 clip, with Jay Levita at 135 pounds getting a 7-3 decision, and Nick Michels earning an 11-7 win.

Despite some crucial wins, Kaneland failed to get past Jacobs 40-34.

Josh Kuefler, at 119 pounds, earned a pinfal in 1:10 to tie the score at 6-6.

Jay Levita won an 11-5 matchup with Mike Stein of Jacobs to deadlock the dual at 18. Cody McGinnis soon followed with a 2:10 pin in the 152-pound category.

J.T. Webb, at 160 pounds, took a 9-8 decision to go up 28-18 for Kaneland. A.J. Wagner earned a 1:59 pin in the 215-pound class, and heavyweight Jimmy Boyle won his match in 1:30.

Wrestling deals with tough first day of Flavin Invite

by Mike Slodki

            Kaneland wrestling’s usual late-Dec. venture to DeKalb’s High School’s Don Flavin Invite proved to be difficult but a valuable learning experience.

            Against a 16-team field with many top teams, KHS fell to Stillman Valley 47-33, West Aurora 50-23 and Woodstock 34-21. The Knights’ dual meet record ending 2008 is 5-10. Kaneland was set to grapple with Shepard on day 2 of the invite.

            In the loss vs. Stillman Valley, J.T. Webb stuck a 4:46 pin at 160 pounds. A.J. Wagner nabbed a 2:32 pinfall at 215 pounds. Matt Weaver also took home a 7-2 decision at 130 pounds.

            Vs. The Blackhawks, Jay Levita (135) earned a 6-5 win, and Cody McGinnis stuck a 2:55 pin at 152 pounds. Heavyweight Jimmy Boyle also earned a pin at 2:42, indicative of his progress lasting the whole season.

            “Jimmy’s improved the entire season,” KHS coach Monty Jahns said. “He’s really worked hard on his motion and driving and he’s done what we’ve asked the team to do and that’s wrestle hard for six minutes.”

            “The coaches have really worked with me and shown me how to be aggressive,” Boyle said.

            Levita (9-7 decision), Wagner (6-3 dec.) 112-pounder Tyler Esposito (3:51 fall), 119-pounder Josh Kuefler (5-2 dec.), 125-pounder Deven Scholl (5-3 dec.) and 140-pounder Kyle Davidson (6-3 dec.) all took home wins vs. Woodstock.

Wrestlers earn 1 win out of 3 at Saturday’s Argo quad

            Knights wrestling probably couldn’t think of a better present for itself after two weeks of no meets than to get back on the mat and start pinning people.

            The giving began on Saturday out at south suburban Argo High School in Summit for a quad also featuring Chicago’s St. Patrick and Kelly High Schools.

            The Knights lost to St. Patrick 42-33, but beat Kelly 44-27 before losing to host Argo 32-26. In dual meet competition, the Knights sit at 5-7.

            Knight grapplers who secured wins against the St. Patrick Shamrocks of the East Suburban Catholic included 125-pound entry Devon Scholl who won his match 7-1, Matt Weaver at 130 pounds who got a pinfall in 38 seconds, Kyle Davidson at 140 who eked out a 7-6 win, 145-pound asset Jay Levita with a 2:46 pinfall and heavyweight Jimmy Boyle with a 9-3 win.

            Against the Kelly Trojans, Kaneland soared to victory thanks to a 6-0 win by School, a technical fall by Levita in 3:10, a 1:28 fall by 160-pounder J.T. Webb.

171-pound grappler Tim Meyer also won his matchup with a 9-6 total.

            In the close loss to the host Argonauts, 103-pounder Ryan Goodenough took a technical fall in four minutes. Scholl took a pinfall in 3:59 and Weaver won a 7-6 affair.

            Teammate Emiliano Ponce won his matchup 8-6, Davidson earned a pin in 3:48 and Levita won his matchup by an 8-7 clip.

            Coming up for the Knights is the usual Don Flavin stop in DeKalb which takes place on Monday, Dec. 29 and Tuesday, Dec. 30.

Grapplers tear through Saturday quad

Kaneland wrestlers earn three wins at Rochelle meet

            What’s the best remedy for a 1-5 dual meet start if you’re Kaneland wrestling?

            How about going to town on three opponents on Saturday.

            Kaneland improved to 4-5 after a successful outing at Rochelle High School’s gym.
In three matchups, the Monty Jahns-led Knights defeated host Rochelle 48-19, Bremen High School of Midlothian 63-12 and Lemont High School 37-32.

            Highlights against the Hubs included 135-pound entry Emiliano Ponce nabbing a 7-6 win with a takedown in the final period.

            Kyle Davidson, at the 140-pound mark, stuck a pin at the 4:42 mark.

            Jay Levita almost pulled out a win in the 145-pound match, down 10-8 in the final period, but lost 13-12 in a valiant effort.

            In the 103-pound match against the Hubs, Ryan Goodenough pulled out a 4:51 pin for a victory. In the 112-pound meeting, entry Tyler Esposito earned a pinfall in 1:44.

            Josh Kuefler won his meeting in the 119-pound range in just 27 seconds due to a pinfall.

            At this time a year ago, the Knights were 5-4 in dual meet action. At that very meet at Rochelle a year ago, Kaneland beat Bremen 60-21, but lost to Rochelle 40-33 and lost to Lemont 46-27.

            In oncoming action, the Knights host Western Sun Conference rival DeKalb on Friday, Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m., and then travel to rival Glenbard South’s Raider turf on Tuesday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Kaneland wrestlers fighting through early season struggles

            Kaneland’s wrestling squad is giving its members valuable experience, but it probably wishes it could see more of the winning kind.

            After the first two meets of the regular season, the Knight grapplers under coach Monty Jahns have a 1-5 dual meet.

            Tuesday, Nov. 25 had Kaneland travel to the tough East Moline United meet and get defeated by Moline 49-9, Rock Island 30-26 and East Moline United 45-26.

            Good news did find its way to the Knights at the meet though.

            Josh Kuefler, at 119 pounds, won all three of his matches. Meanwhile, 125-pounder Devon Scholl won two matches, 140-pounder Kyle Davidson won two, as did Jimmy Boyle at the heavyweight category.

            The lone win on Saturday in a four way meetup was against Freeport, 50-28.

However, in a 45-36 loss to Oswego, Emiliano Ponce got a pin at 2:51 in the 135-pound class. Boyle earned a pin at 2:57. Kaneland also lost to Burlington Central, 47-24.

            Next up, the Knights take on Bremen, Lemont and Rochelle at the home of the Hubs.

Grapplers set to begin Jahns era

by Mike Slodki

            A less prepared team might be scrambling.

            With former coach Gary Baum stepping down after a 20-year coaching career and the departure of four graduates, fans would understand if Kaneland wrestling got off to a slower-than-normal start.

            But with new head coach Monty Jahns, himself a former Knight wrestler and longtime assistant coach, it is going to be business as usual and hitting the mat running.

            “We are going to miss Coach Baum,” Jahns said. “Leadership was his biggest quality, and I hope to carry that on with these guys, along with dedication and making these guys the best wrestlers they can be.”

            Jahns is joined by Rob Bohaczyk, Jeremy Kenny and Joe Thorgesen on the coaching staff.

            Looking to make a name for themselves are Paul Morning at 112 pounds, Devon Scholl at 119 pounds and Matt Weaver at the 125-pound class.

            Kyle Davidson looks to pin down the competition at the 140 class. Senior Jay Levita, fresh off a postseason in which he stood out at last year’s regionals, sits at 145. Keagan Mattes begins at 171 and Jimmy Boyle takes over Fabrizius’ old spot at 285.

            “We want the kids to battle for seven minutes, finish the match strong and never give up,” Jahns said.

            Tuesday, Nov. 25, has Kaneland traveling to East Moline United.